I want to commend Police Chief Daryl Gates for his willingness to think the unthinkable when it comes to traffic management in this region (Op-Ed Page, Aug 23).
While I cannot agree with all his recommendations, such as closing freeways to all vehicles carrying one occupant during certain times of the day, Gates' proposals address the nub of the problem which is how to reduce demand for highway and street use rather than how to increase the supply of highways and streets.
That is why proposals such as eliminating truck traffic on the freeways during peak hours is no longer an option, but a must in our efforts to manage traffic in Southern California. Truck accidents alone account for some of the worst traffic congestion on Southern California freeways. On the average, a truck accident requires approximately three hours to clean up, and the ripple effect that such tie-ups have on the freeway system as a whole give gridlock added meaning.
When it comes to traffic management, Southern California must face the fact that managing the demand side rather than the supply side is the axiom for the 1990s and beyond. There is not enough money in the federal treasury to supply the amount of new highway space that could effectively be provided by simply readjusting traffic patterns and habits. Restricting truck traffic during peak hours is a first step that can yield significant results.
Councilman, 5th District